In California, Obama wraps up three days of seclusion at Sunnylands

A Secret Service agent guards an entrance to the golf course at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images/)

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – President Obama squeezed in one last round of golf on Monday before wrapping up his secluded Presidents Day weekend and heading back to Washington.

Obama made no public appearances for three full days while hosting his three closest high school buddies at a sun-splashed private estate that has become one of his favorite getaway destinations.

The president also spent part of the weekend consulting with National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who was along on the trip to attend the president’s Friday night meeting with the king of Jordan concerning the crisis in Syria and Middle East peace negotiations.


Obama and Rice spent part of the weekend in a last-ditch effort to persuade Uganda’s president not to sign a harsh anti-gay law. Once they decided there was nothing more they could do, Obama released a statement announcing that enactment of the law will “complicate” the U.S. relationship with Uganda.

Neighbors glimpsed the president as his motorcade took him for cocktails at the home of Michael Smith, the interior designer who did the Obamas’ private quarters in the White House, and to Porcupine Creek, the private golf course of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

But Obama spent most of the weekend within the pink stucco walls of Sunnylands, the former estate of publisher Walter Annenberg, playing golf with Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Mike Ramos, old pals from high school in Hawaii. The sky over Rancho Mirage was pleasantly cloudy and the daytime temperature hovered around 80 for much of the weekend.

Once he gets back to Washington, D.C., Obama intends to get back to his “Year of Action” plan.

On Tuesday, he plans to travel to Upper Marlboro, Md., for an event and, on Wednesday, he is set to travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit, where he and the leaders of Mexico and Canada will discuss trade and other issues of mutual interest. And on Friday, Obama meets with Democratic governors to talk about his “Opportunity For All” agenda.


Twitter: @cparsons